Are we earning too much?

Hear me out before you rebuff!

On New Year’s Eve I met a random guy at a pedestrian crossing. He asked me for help with his bike tire, as at the time I was at work (in an orange suit, with a bike and a big thermal backpack). He spoke to me in English, and it turned out he was a postdoc staff at the local university, who had just moved here from Chicago, Illinois.

We kept chatting but stopped after two weeks when he told me he had just bought a snail-shaped paper weight in a second hand store. It wasn’t the reason why I stopped reaching out, it’s more that at that moment I decided he wasn’t a very interesting person. Anyhow, before that happened I learnt a few things about that guy.

The main thing that threw me off was that he dabbled in stock exchange. Stock exchange. Not stock as in livestock, that’d be even weirder, but stock as in buying and selling three-letter non-physical entities. He recommended me trying it myself, as he disclosed he would earn as much as 9,000 PLN in a month. What on earth can you do with 9,000 PLN in a single month? I understand you can save it up for a big trip, like to Japan or something; but how many people happen to earn 9,000 PLN in one month?

I think about all the people who do really hard and undesirable work, and think that life must be really miserable for those who don’t enjoy their jobs and don’t get to enjoy things outside of their jobs, because they can’t afford it.

Of course, you have things like meritocracy and the survival of the fittest (or whatever today’s equivalent of ‘fit’ is), but let’s admit it – does it always work this way, that the smartest and most capable people are in the best positions in society? No.

Equally, I do not think that learning when to buy a three-letter non-physical entity and when to sell it is a skill beneficial to society. Sure, you can invest in organisations that do charitable work, like WWF or other environmental agents. But I suppose people who are in stock exchange are not in it do to that.

Stock exchange is concentrated on increasing the private monetary wealth of a single individual. It’s selfish, inconsiderate, and meaningless.

This was not meant to be a tirade on stock exchange, but that’s what it turned out to be!

I hope though that you too agree that earning 9,000 PLN is far too excessive. Better stay put and earn less than wreak even more havoc on this planet; you can’t compensate yourself for guilt.

Published by kotersey

Graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a First in geography, and from the University of Brighton with a Master's in history of design and material culture. Probably drinking iced coffee and thinking about buildings.

2 thoughts on “Are we earning too much?

  1. Yeah, I get what you’re saying. It blows my mind at times that there are plentiful people out there working honest jobs that benefit society and bearly making enough for a living, and at the same time there are those who make enough to last three lifetimes but what they’re doing can hardly qualify as essential… It’s just the way things work, I guess

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Mo! Thanks for reading and commenting. You’re absolutely right in saying that some people make enough to last several lifetimes… and that’s a strange thing, because no one lives more than once. (Well, at least it hasn’t been documented otherwise).
      The word you used, “make” also reminded me of what I wanted to write but I forgot. We often say “earn” to refer to making money, but that word assumes that we have earned/deserve the money we got… which I think is often debatable.
      Either way, very nice to read your comment, and thank you for taking the time to engage!


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